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Openly gay Asian American first LGBT person of color in U.S. Congress

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
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RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Openly gay Democrat Mark Takano beat his Republican opponent John Tavaglione by a double-digit margin in the race for California’s U.S. House District 41, and will become the first LGBT person of color in the U.S. Congress.

Mark Takano

Takano won 56.4 percent of the vote tally compared to Tavaglione’s 43.6 percent. All precincts in Riverside County have been reported, however about 183,000 vote-by-mail, provisional and damaged ballots remained to be counted.

Takano is a Japanese American teacher and politician from California. His long history of public service in California’s Riverside County includes roles on the Community Advisory Board of the Children’s Spine Foundation and the Board of the Chancellor’s Asian Pacific Islander Community Advisory Center at the University of California, Riverside.

He has served as chairman of the Riverside Mayor’s Task Force on the Digital Divide, Chairman of the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus of the California Democratic Party, a charter member of the Association of Latino Community College Trustees, a member of the Association of California Asian American Trustees and a member of Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education.

Takano is also a recipient of the Martin Luther King Visionaries Award.

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